Film Review: ‘The Wandering Earth’

  • Variety
Film Review: ‘The Wandering Earth’
The out-of-this-world success of China’s first-ever sci-fi blockbuster, “The Wandering Earth,” proves that when it comes to watching special-effects extravaganzas in which stock characters scramble to intervene while the planet faces obliteration, it’s a small world after all. Director Frant Gwo’s adaptation of the 2000 novella by Liu Cixin is no genre classic, but its furious pace, spectacular visuals, and fanciful plot deliver decent escapist entertainment. After accumulating an astronomical $640 million-plus domestically — plus a tidy $5 million on limited North American screens — since Feb. 5, this display of capability from China’s commercial film sector was snapped up by Netflix for future release on the streaming giant’s platform.

A hyperactive hybrid of doomsday films ranging from ’50s classic “When Worlds Collide” to Michael Bay’s bombastic “Armageddon” and, most notably, Ishiro Honda’s 1962 Japanese space opera “Gorath,” “The Wandering Earth” is perhaps most striking for its lack of nationalism and propaganda.
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